Stainless steel is a popular choice for kitchen appliances. It’s stylish and reflects light beautifully.

Keeping its glossy surface looking clean, however, can be a challenge. The biggest complaint? Fingerprints.

Stainless steel may be very corrosion-resistant, but not 100% rust-proof. Fortunately, it tolerates frequent cleaning well, and routine maintenance will even help to keep it looking its best. And unlike other materials, excessive cleaning will not wear out the surface of stainless steel. You should therefore always clean stainless steel as soon as it becomes dirty. Don’t wait to do a deep cleaning to restore its original shine. Frequent cleaning will prevent dirt from accumulating and help keep the appliance sparkling clean on a daily basis.

Avoid rough sponges, brushes and metal scouring pads. Stainless steel scratches easily.

The fine particles in steel wool may damage its protective film, embed in its surface and eventually rust, making it look like the stainless steel itself has rusted. Use a soft sponge or microfibre cloth instead, which will leave fewer fibres on the surface.

Ideally, use just one product (keep it simple), since some products create undesirable reactions when combined. Also avoid bleach, chlorine and products containing ammonia, which can stain or damage the surface of stainless steel appliances.

For best results, always wipe in the direction of the steel grain (which often runs horizontally). Wiping in the opposite direction may leave permanent marks on the surface.

N.B. These tips also apply to cleaning stainless steel elevator doors. Farewell fingerprints!